Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

An open letter to Ken Holland re: re-signing Kyle Quincey and Daniel Cleary

Updated 3x at 9:10 PM:

Dear Ken Holland,

On behalf of my fellow Wings fans, we've had it. We are fed up, we are fed up with you, and we are angry. Why?

Because the concept of loyalty to players and alumni has, in our eyes, clouded the Red Wings management's judgment.

Spending the kind of money that a statistically superior, younger and right-shooting defenseman in Anton Stralman got from the Tampa Bay Lightning to re-sign Kyle Quincey was bad enough to "compromise" with a "known quantity." But the Daniel Cleary signing (a one-way deal, no less)?

It's ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous.

I don't care about the fact that Cleary's sacrificed, on behalf of the team, feeling in parts of his mouth, his knees, his groin and so many other parts of his body that will not function like an average human being's after he is done playing. I don't care about the fact that, if the Free Press's Helene St. James is to be believed, Cleary left $6 million worth of Philadelphia Flyers money "on the table." I don't care about the fact that he's a "good guy in the room."

I care about the fact that Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Luke Glendening, and the player most likely to end up in Grand Rapids should Mr. $1.5 million one-way contract and $1 million in bonuses make the team--Tomas Jurco--TOOK CLEARY'S JOB, and those of Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo, Todd Bertuzzi and Cory Emmerton,  last year based upon their play on the ice in comparison to Cleary's when he was healthy. Those players earned their spots on the team, and they may end up spending time in the press box for Cleary's sake.

Cleary's now your 14th forward. If you bring Daniel Alfredsson back, your team will have 15 forwards, and as such...

Tomas Jurco may be certain to be "Nyquist'd" after you take care of re-signing players who actually contributed to the team in the aforementioned Tatar and Danny DeKeyser due to cap issues--and if you recall, Mr. Holland, a certain Gustav Nyquist, who ended up leading the team in goal-scoring, was sent to Grand Rapids despite earning a spot on the team in training camp, for Daniel Cleary's sake--and because the still-waiver-exempt Jurco can, like Nyquist, be demoted without clearing waivers.

Landon Ferraro and Mitchell Callahan may very well have no chance whatsoever to make the team now, and you may lose Ferraro, a speedy 3rd or 4th-line winger with offensive upside, and Callahan, a heart-and-soul player who's gritty and superb defensively--because you'll probably have to waive them to make sure that Daniel Cleary has a spot on the opening-night roster.

[quick edit: OH YEAH AND WHAT THE FACK ABOUT THAT ANTHONY MANTHA KID? GRAND RAPIDS IT IS, WOO! /end edit]

Red Wings fans can understand why you're hoping to hold open some money for Daniel Alfredsson. Despite his status as a 41-year-old who had some chronic groin and back issues last year, he co-led the team in scoring while being a "good guy in the room," a member of the leadership group and a leader on the ice and on the bench. Alfredsson had 18 goals, 31 assists and 49 points in 68 games played.

Cleary played in 52 games. He registered 4 goals, 4 assists, 8 points, and a team-second-worst -11.

Over the past two seasons and 100 regular-season games, Cleary has posted a total of 23 points and finished at -17.

Last season, Riley Sheahan, a rookie, had 9 goals, 15 assists and 24 points in 42 games, finishing a +8 in his rookie season.

Last season, Tomas Tatar, who began the season watching Cleary, Samuelsson, Tootoo, Emmerton and Bertuzzi play, posted 19 goals, 20 assists and 39 points in 73 games, finishing at +12 in his first full season with the team. That's pretty dang close to the 20-goal threshold that you say is so very important in terms of finding players who can score at an essential level.

Last season, Tomas Jurco had 8 goals, 7 assists and 15 points in 36 games, finishing even in his rookie season.

Those three players had an incredibly difficult playoff run against Boston, but the Red Wings wouldn't have made the playoffs without the contributions of "Riley and the Slovaks."

Last season, Luke Glendening, whose waiver-exemption your coach chose to exhaust, had 1 goal, 6 assists and 7 points in 56 games, finishing at -8 as a rookie. Glendening took 52 games to score his first goal, but he nearly out-produced Cleary, and he was far more valuable to the team.

Three years ago, you told your "special assistant," Kris Draper, that he would have to accept a two-way contract and essentially try out for the team if he wanted to continue playing hockey for the Detroit Red Wings, after Draper had given the team 1,137 games of NHL service.

Four years ago, you told Kirk Maltby, who played 908 games for your team, the same circumstances would apply.

Why is Cleary a special case? Why couldn't he be told to earn spot on the team like Ferraro, Callahan, Jurco, or Maltby or Draper before him?

This summer, after having struck out on Dan Boyle, Matt Niskanen, Stralman and Tom Gilbert, you've given Kyle Quincey 2 years and $8.5 million...

And this summer, you've given what will be a total of $2.5 million to Daniel Cleary for loyalty's sake when there are 28 free agent forwards available who posted more than Cleary's 8 points--excluding Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Alfredsson, who make it a total of 30 available players who out-scored Cleary.

Cleary's given his heart and soul to the team, and he's sacrificed his body repeatedly, but Cleary's simply not been a useful player over the past two seasons. He hasn't earned his spot on the team based upon his play on the ice.

But he's been given a contract based upon money the Philadelphia Flyers may or may not have offered him--if you are not aware, there are several reports that the Flyers were in fact only willing to give Cleary a pro try-out contract, and nothing more, and those reports came from journalists who know much more about the inner workings of the Flyers than anyone in Detroit does--and he will probably be given a spot on the roster by your coach because "he's a good team guy."

Probably over Tomas Jurco, Luke Glendening, Landon Ferraro or Mitchell Callahan, even if they've earned their spots on the team.

How does this signing send any sort of message to the team's young players that you are in fact committed to the "youth movement" or "the kids?"

Does it  instead send a message that, on a team where we're supposed to believe that the best players earn playing time, that some players are in fact more equal than others, even if they haven't done anything to earn their spot?

How does this signing send any sort of message to the team's fans that you are in fact concerned with availing yourself of the best personnel available instead of playing favorites?

How does this signings end any sort of message to the rest of the league that the Detroit Red Wings want to avail themselves of the best personnel available to them, or that the team is committed to recruiting the best players outside of Detroit to come here and play for the coach that at least one player agent says no one wants to play for because he's, "An *#$%@& behind the bench"?

What happens if Daniel Cleary doesn't make the team? What happens if your line about not wanting to sign players that you have to get rid of in November turns out to be true for Cleary, and you have to send him to Grand Rapids. Will you send him to Grand Rapids? Will you understand that you'll have to still carry $575,000 of Cleary's contract on your cap figure?

What will that money do to the team's roster flexibility in terms of being able to add what whoever the "team sources" are have insisted is an absolutely essential player in a top-four defenseman with strong scoring abilities?

Daniel Cleary did nothing this past season to earn a spot on the 2014-2015 Red Wings roster, but you've given him a contract that ensures you're going to be paying him for two more years.

You've told MLive's Ansar Khan that things are different this time around (and the quotes are the same in Fox Sports Detroit's report)...

"He's worked hard in the gym, done things to get himself back," general manager Ken Holland said. "We're hoping Dan Cleary can bounce back. He'll be good insurance. He'll have to beat people out to be in the lineup."

The Red Wings now have 14 forwards, including Tomas Jurco, the only one of the group who is exempt from waivers and can be assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Holland said they will start the season with 14 forwards. They will decide before training camp whether to re-sign Daniel Alfredsson. Both sides are waiting to see how the 41-year-old's troublesome back holds up later this summer.

Cleary, 35, had just four goals and eight points in 52 games last season, after signing a one-year, $1.75 million contract on the eve of training camp. He didn't play after Jan. 28 due to a knee issue.

When Cleary signed his previous deal in September, Holland promised him he'd be taken care of at the end of the season. Holland is keeping his word.

"Unfortunately he had a tough year," Holland said. "He's a guy the coaching staff likes, his teammates like. He's a leader in the room. He can play left wing/right wing, can go on the power play."

But how are we supposed to believe you? Especially after we heard Mike Babcock insist that veterans win roster battles over youngsters--namely Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco and Luke Glendening--"by default" this past season?

You and your coach have said one thing, but your management group has acted in a completely different manner.

With Alexey Marchenko, Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet and Mattias Backman supposedly nearly ready to play in the NHL, you chose to respond to your inability to sign a top-four, right-shooting defenseman by bringing back a left-shooting, 4/5/6 defensive defenseman because you're familiar with him.

Now, with four youngsters having "stolen jobs" over the past season and Landon Ferraro and Mitchell Callahan out of waiver options this upcoming season, you've given a one-way contract and a two-year pay-out to player who didn't contribute to the cause last season, and wasn't particularly useful the season before.

How have things really changed if you keep going back to the "take care of alumni" well?

How have things really changed if "the youth movement" keeps on finding that, every July, the team either retains or seeks out older alumni for the sake of familiarity and "loyalty" (see also: Mikael Samuelsson, Todd Bertuzzi, Jason Williams)?

How can you explain the fact that the team's words and off-season actions aren't consistent?

How can you justify the abandonment of, "The kids are our future" philosophy for, "It's a men's league and the kids aren't the answer" every damn summer?

When your team may very well have an "image problem" in terms of attracting elite talent due to the outside perception of Metro Detroit, the outside perception of your rink (especially the visitors' facilities), the outside perception of your team's nearness to being within any sort of reasonable probability of winning a round in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division, or the outside perception of that "*#$%@& behind the bench?"

How has any of what you've done since July 1st helped your team's cause?

And why are we supposed to believe anything you tell us any more?

Maybe completely losing credibility with the fans who pay so much money to attend games, purchase team merchandise and follow your organization is more important than you perceive it to be.

Maybe we deserve some answers, some honest ones, and some answers that we can believe in, and at this point, we're not sure that you're willing to afford us an explanation as to why you've made moves that have done nothing less than infuriate your paying fans.

I wish I could have talked to you at the summer development camp, but you ducked out, and I was told that I could speak to you in September.

Between now and then, don't be too surprised if you lose some season ticket-holders and lose some fans (and I mean that very sincerely) based upon your free agency track record and your "loyalty" to players who simply cannot be afforded preferential treatment in the "cap era."

At least Quincey was decent during the second half. Cleary was injured and when he wasn't, he wasn't very good, but here he is, and Wings fans don't understand why you'd do something they believe is utterly nonsensical.

It's ridiculous. And you should expect to be ridiculed, and your competency as a general manager questioned, as a result.

Update: Submitted for your inspection...

Update #2: From St. James:

When Daniel Cleary left $6 million on the table last fall in Philadelphia to return to Detroit, there was an agreement made that it would be ameliorated by the Red Wings.

That led to the contract that was announced Thursday, when the Red Wings signed Cleary to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million with another $1 million in bonuses. Cleary told the Detroit Free Press, "I"m happy for the opportunity to come back and play. I'm putting in a lot of effort to get ready and have a bounce-back year."

General manager Ken Holland said the decision, "has more to do with last year. My program has been one of loyalty, and there's good things and bad things that go with that. Way more good, in my opinion. I reached out to a lot of people before signing Dan, and he's very popular in our organization and with our on-ice leaders."

On the surface, it seems incongruent for a team that, with Tomas Tatar and Daniel Alfredsson still to be signed, already had a dozen forwards under NHL contracts. Cleary, 35, had eight points in 52 games last season, and had become a healthy scratch by late January.

The answer lies in loyalty, and in untangling a web of agreements from last September. After rejecting contract offers from the Red Wings - his team since 2005 - in June of 2013, Cleary verbally agreed to a three-year, $8.25 million deal with the Philadelphia Flyers. A day before training camp, Cleary flew to Traverse City and met at the airport with Holland and coach Mike Babcock.

Babcock pushed hard for Cleary's return, leading to a one-year deal at $1.75 million. Along with that came with a verbal agreement the Wings would take care of Cleary this summer.

"He had a tough year, but we're hoping he's going to bounce back," Holland said. "We've had luck with players with heart and determination." Holland said that if Cleary doesn't have a big camp, "he won't be in the lineup."

Update #3: But wait, there's more, from the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:

"He’s a leader,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “We’re hoping he can bounce back. He’ll be good insurance, but he’s going to have to beat people out to be in the lineup.”

Some of Cleary’s struggles were due to injuries.

He tried to return from a knee injury he suffered before the Olympic break, but a bad reaction to an injection caused inflammation.

“He had a tough year last season,” Holland said. “But he’s a guy the coaching staff likes and his teammates like. He’s a leader in the room. He can play left or right wing and can go on the power play.

“He’s worked really hard in the gym, doing things to get himself back,” Holland continued. “With this one-year deal we’re giving him an opportunity.”

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Comments

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Great writing George!!

Posted by Acim on 07/10/14 at 10:15 PM ET

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A dumbo open letter rot Ken Holland. I’ll buy into his program and proven record of success- based on loyalty- over your whiny drivel letter anytime.

It’s too bad that you’ll buy into his program rather than using your brain just a tiny bit and thinking for yourself.

Posted by Garth on 07/10/14 at 11:24 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Cheers, G.  Articulated everything I’ve been thinking, too.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 07/10/14 at 11:30 PM ET

Hank Scorpio's avatar

Well said, George.  Thanks for once again putting voice to what we’re feeling.

Posted by Hank Scorpio on 07/10/14 at 11:57 PM ET

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thanks George. 

KH has proven he’s insane, doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.

Posted by akwingsfan on 07/10/14 at 11:57 PM ET

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I prepared myself for this day right after Quincey was signed.  Absolutely nothing shocking about this move.  And that is the truly scandalous thing.

KH is having a horrible stretch.  He thinks that loyalty is a good thing, and I agree.  100%.  No doubt about it.  HIS LOYALTY IS NOT THE PROBLEM!  IT’S THE FACT THAT HE GAVE HIS WORD IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!  This just speaks to his horrible judgement of late.  Clearly his value added to this great organization is not in player personnel moves.  He’s made that abundantly clear over the past few years.  Is it possible that he’s a better judge of assembling a management structure that can build a winner?  And that structure is what is currently going through a rebuild?  If he’s still around in a few years and he’s managed to backfill the inevitable loss of Babcock with the likes of Blashill and developed/scouted the replacements for Nill and the team only goes through a few years of decreased expectations, will we be happy as a fanbase?

I really just trying my best to hold out hope and be positive about the general situation of the organization.  In all honesty it’s really getting difficult.

Posted by Wise1 on 07/11/14 at 12:06 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Man I really hate to say it, I love the guy, but Ken’s lost his mojo.

Doubt I’ll be getting the season pass this year or watching more than a handful of games.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 07/11/14 at 12:40 AM ET

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If you click the “profile” button at the top right corner of any KK page, it brings you to “your control panel.” On the left side is a button for “manage ignore list.”  This is a handy little feature that will hide comments by any member you add to the list. Tired of my long-winded drivel? Put me on you list. wink In light of some of the comments a certain member made not only in this thread, but in seemingly every one he posts in, may I suggest you add that member to you ignore list. I’ve had him on that list for over a year (and a certain corsi obsessed member) and it has added to my enjoyment of KK immensely.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from La La Land on 07/11/14 at 01:35 AM ET

Chet's avatar

one hopes they also have an agreement with him that if he’s going to waived and sent down, he’ll instead retire (don’t think he comes off the cap but does it free up a roster space?)...

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/11/14 at 01:54 AM ET

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If you click the “profile” button at the top right corner of any KK page, it brings you to “your control panel.” On the left side is a button for “manage ignore list.”  This is a handy little feature that will hide comments by any member you add to the list. Tired of my long-winded drivel? Put me on you list.  In light of some of the comments a certain member made not only in this thread, but in seemingly every one he posts in, may I suggest you add that member to you ignore list. I’ve had him on that list for over a year (and a certain corsi obsessed member) and it has added to my enjoyment of KK immensely.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 07/11/14 at 01:35 AM ET

Oh, thank God.  I can finally avail myself of putting up with CDP’s blather and drivel.  I hate that guy.  tongue wink

Seriously though, everyone’s entitled to their opinion.  Whether it’s the right one of, “something’s wrong with the Wings management right now” or the comical “everything’s sunshine and roses”; every opinion is valid even if it’s for no other reason than setting itself up for being mocked.  I assume several of my opinions have fallen in the “prime to be mocked” category, and I’m fine with that.  It’s not going to stop me from adamantly supporting said opinion.  I’m right, you’re wrong, deal with it.

The thing I love most about KK is the differing opinions.  I think Holland’s mentally bent, you think his moves aren’t that bad.  Good for you.  Keep espousing the dissenting view and all it does it make me rethink my point of view to make sure I’m right (I am, but that’s already been covered).

Without your TPSH’s and HD’s this place would be boring.  I’ll be one sad panda when either of them stop posting.  I’ve vehemently disagreed with a lot of what both of them have said but the world needs dissenting views even if they’re outrageously ridiculous at times.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 07/11/14 at 02:52 AM ET

Slumpy's avatar

Alfie will decide to come back for one more season after hearing this Cleary new feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure!!!!!!!!!!!


shock

Danny boy should play a few games with the Wings then the rest in GR then come playoff time he better be ready because the playoffs are the only time he’s proven his worth. He has had some great playoff years for a guy that has never scored more than 46 pts in a season nor 26 goals+.

He won’t be healthy for most of next season anyway so I’m not to concerned he’ll steal to much playing time from our future kids.

Posted by Slumpy from Under My Wheels on 07/11/14 at 04:15 AM ET

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So much for the this needs to be better comments by Babcock and KH. I guess the idea of better is to overpay KFQ and Danny ‘Stone Hands, My Knees are So messed up I can’t skate’ Cleary
And potentially, sitting someone like Jurco or Tatar for his sake. Guys that got this team into the playoffs.
GM is correct, about what kind of message does this send to your young players.
I’ve always been a fan of Cleary, I really have. The guy has been a warrior and has always given Wings his all, but you gotta know when it’s over. The guy can’t skate anymore.

Posted by George0211 on 07/11/14 at 07:53 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Now, with four youngsters having “stolen jobs” over the past season and Landon Ferraro and Mitchell Callahan out of waiver options this upcoming season

Having watched these two guys last season this Cleary signing make me really sad. Both guys would be excellent additions to the Wings and are exactly what they need (speed, tenacity, defensive chops, North American grit) but it’s not gonna happen now.
What Ken Holland has been doing lately reminds me of what Chuck Schmidt did to the Lions, all be it for different reasons. Do you think Zetterberg and Datsyuk are thinking “What the feck!” like Barry Sanders did?
The slow train wreck continues with no end in sight.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/11/14 at 08:03 AM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

I just can’t fathom the incompetence displayed by Ken Holland over the past several seasons. It’s truly baffling.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 07/11/14 at 08:42 AM ET

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This signing has me pissed beyond belief.  Holland has totally lost his way and doesn’t understand that it is far better to cut ties with a player one yr. early than one yr. late… though in Cleary’s case this is probably two years late.  I didn’t understand the urgency to bring him back last summer and his re-signing last night after he was completely useless last yr. cements the fact tha Holland is not fit for the job any longer.  Holland was a baby when he wouldn’t move out of the way for Yzerman as Jimmy D did for him.  Illitch should said to Holland it’s move up or move out, period. 

One point I will debate with you George… out of all the kids that won’t get an opportunity forget about Ferraro… he’s not an NHL player.  This hurts Jurco the most though the Wings really should have signed Dan Winnik or another UFA fwd. instead of Cleary.  I don’t get it… all we heard from Holland is that the team needs two top d plus a top 6 winger and we get Dan Cleary!!! Hahaha, fail.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/11/14 at 09:00 AM ET

Primis's avatar

What has Jim Nill and Steve Yzerman won and or done? Yzermans team missed the playoffs under his guidance and Nill hasn’t done squat…yet.  who drafted Mantha?

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 07/10/14 at 07:44 PM ET

Jim Nill was still largely in charge of DET’s draft for Mantha.  He left right before the draft, but Nill was very involved in it.  This last drat was the first for DET without Nill’s prints on it.

Posted by Primis on 07/11/14 at 10:27 AM ET

PDXWing's avatar

The Red Wings have a set of organizational principles that they have been very disciplined about following. One of them is the belief (supported by S. Bowman) that veterans are put out to pasture too soon. You take a certain risk signing guys on the backside of their careers, but the payoff can be worth it. Another principle is that you have to earn your job every year and they want fierce competition for jobs at every slot. KH said Cleary was good insurance, which signals to me that he’s a backup until he proves that he isn’t. I will take issue with George saying he didn’t contribute the year before last because he had an absolutely dominant post season. That said, he hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt because of an injury plagued and ineffective year (I’m guessing those two things are interrelated).

Posted by PDXWing on 07/11/14 at 10:52 AM ET

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Brenden Morrow signed by Yzerman.  1 yr. $1.5 same as Cleary (or less with bonuses) and Morrow is a more useful/productive player at this point plus has same leadership qualities… was an NHL team captain.  F Holland.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/11/14 at 10:57 AM ET

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You do love proving what an internet troll you are whilst roundly denouncing internet trolls, George.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/10/14 at 09:00 PM ET

HiHD, I, unlike many others, don’t tend to find you quite so offensive with your commentary. That said, I don’t think you really have a clue what a troll is so allow me to inform you. A troll, in this case, is someone coming to these message boards and taking what is obviously an unpopular opinion and spouting it gleefully, with intent to cause others to get angry. It’s being someone who usually makes a couple posts in a thread and no more and then remaining relatively silent over an extended period of time then jumping into a thread where everyone is upset and making numerous posts spouting the unpopular take. That’s troll behavior. You’re the guy with one political belief going to message boards of those on the opposite side and spewing your unpopular beliefs with arrogance and glee.

What’s not troll behavior is posting something that 90% or more of the posters in this thread have supported.

On your actual premise, I take offense to the notion that this signing was done in a vacuum. Your statement is that it’s a relatively low-cost depth signing so why make a big deal.

The problem with that is that it is just a face value argument without any context. It ignores the fact that the team couldn’t execute a plan to obtain a coveted defenseman free agent and publicly struck out in a bad way (less money and/or term for going elsewhere). It ignores the fact that many people believed a better plan is to instead of resigning Quincey, slot in one of the talented defensemen playing in Grand Rapids. It’s the fact that the team that squeaked into the playoffs the last two seasons has not improved appreciably in any way (forward or defense).

Your argument also doesn’t account for the fact that the team already has too many forwards and by adding Cleary - in addition to likely adding Alfredsson - it practically guarantees Ferraro and Callahan are gone and Jurco, who leapfrogged several people in the depth chart, is likely to have lost his spot and will play in GR. Your argument lastly ignores the fact that Ken Holland’s modus operandi has been to sign and play veterans over kids and his “kids aren’t the answer” statement was in response to a question as to whether Nyquist would improve the team (which Holland looked like an idiot after what Nyquist - and the rest of the kids - did). So after last year’s debacle where the kids only got a chance to play when injuries made that the only option, Ken Holland has gone and put the team in a somewhat similar predicament as last year.

Taken as a whole, this signing is offensive. It’s not simply a low-cost depth signing. It’s evidence that Ken Holland doesn’t learn. In each of the last three offseasons, Ken Holland has signed Red Wings alumni or resigned players who have shown to have little left in the tank. And after back-to-back offseasons in which these signings have been absolute disasters (Samuelsson in 2012, Cleary in 2013), he resigns Dan Cleary again. Dan Cleary can’t play anymore. His effectiveness is clearly diminished.

And the last thing - I don’t really believe what Ken Holland says anymore. The “Cleary will only play if he has a big camp” comment means nothing to me.

Anyways, I’m not going to lose my mind over this but it is really just another ridiculous move by Ken Holland, a general manager that seems to be unable to learn from mistakes or find any way to improve his team year over year. His credibility as a general manager is continuing its downward spiral and there have been nearly no actions on his part to reverse that trend whatsoever.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 07/11/14 at 11:12 AM ET

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Brenden Morrow signed by Yzerman.  1 yr. $1.5 same as Cleary (or less with bonuses) and Morrow is a more useful/productive player at this point plus has same leadership qualities… was an NHL team captain.  F Holland.

The good news is that Morrow sucks too.  Maybe he sucks a little less than Cleary, but that’s still a bad signing by Yzerman.

This is what passes for good news these days—“the guy who should be our GM but is the GM for a division rival isn’t infallible…hooray?”

Posted by captaineclectic on 07/11/14 at 11:30 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Per CapGeek, Cleary’s $1M games played bonus kicks in after 10 games.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/11/14 at 11:44 AM ET

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Per CapGeek, Cleary’s $1M games played bonus kicks in after 10 games.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/11/14 at 11:44 AM ET

Makes sense, maybe he can retire after 10 games.

Posted by George0211 on 07/11/14 at 11:45 AM ET

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Are you f’in kidding me?! So it’s really a $2.5M deal!  What a loser Holland is… Morrow signed for $1.55 total.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/11/14 at 12:13 PM ET

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Are you f’in kidding me?! So it’s really a $2.5M deal!  What a loser Holland is… Morrow signed for $1.55 total.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/11/14 at 12:13 PM ET

Let’s not get carried away. Something is strange here. No one gives a bonus for 10 games. I now have a feeling that this is some kind of a way to simply give Cleary money but not really play him. Like I said in my previous post, I would not be surprised if he retired after he makes this bonus.

Posted by George0211 on 07/11/14 at 12:15 PM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/10/14 at 08:50 PM ET

Over the line! I’m no fan of trolling either, but this frame you get marked a zero.

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 07/11/14 at 12:15 PM ET

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The good news is that Morrow sucks too.  Maybe he sucks a little less than Cleary, but that’s still a bad signing by Yzerman.

This is what passes for good news these days—“the guy who should be our GM but is the GM for a division rival isn’t infallible…hooray?”

Morrow is far better than Cleary… he was decent in STL last yr. 13 goals, 25 pts in 70 games.  Plus with the threshold for Cleary’s bonus being ONLY 10 GAMES, Morrow is $1M cheaper than Cleary.  Say what you want about Yzerman, but he never stops improving his team.. not affraid to trade lineup regulars for better players.  Do you think Holland work ever move Drew Miller for an upgrade?  No cause he’s been loyal to the program.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/11/14 at 12:17 PM ET

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Say what you want about Yzerman, but he never stops improving his team.. not affraid to trade lineup regulars for better players.  Do you think Holland work ever move Drew Miller for an upgrade?  No cause he’s been loyal to the program.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/11/14 at 12:17 PM ET

Yet, he waved and then traded Eaves.
Too much trading is not a good thing either. I don’t understand why people assume Yzerman is all of a sudden a great GM. He hasn’t accomplished anything as a GM yet.

Posted by George0211 on 07/11/14 at 12:21 PM ET

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Posted by Valek from Chicago on 07/11/14 at 02:52 AM ET

Believe me, even without those two, there is plenty of excitement and wide range of opinions in this sandbox. I consider them agent provocateurs; their goal is not to engage in a fun debate but to provoke others into writing something they would not otherwise write and somehow prove their supposed superiority to themselves.

But you’ll never read this blather and drivel because I’ve been blocked!
tongue laugh

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from La La Land on 07/11/14 at 12:21 PM ET

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Let’s not get carried away. Something is strange here. No one gives a bonus for 10 games. I now have a feeling that this is some kind of a way to simply give Cleary money but not really play him. Like I said in my previous post, I would not be surprised if he retired after he makes this bonus.

Even if that is the case it’s not much better!  There are better players out there that the money could be spent on to actually improve the team.  This is the NHL, a business… Holland should have thanked his lucky stars that Cleary didn’t accept the 3 yr. offer Holland made to him at the end the season prior to last and said to Cleary:  sorry bud things changed, your play and health declined far quicker than we saw coming… I don’t care what I promised you… there is no money or roster spot for you here.  Perhaps if you want to be a scout (at $150K per yr.) or there’s a legit use for him in hockey ops. mgmt. or whatever give him a job there… but this feeling a need to pay him $2.5M b/c he supposedly turned down $8M in Philly (which everyone in Philly strongly denies) is TOTAL BS.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/11/14 at 12:22 PM ET

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Yet, he waved and then traded Eaves.
Too much trading is not a good thing either. I don’t understand why people assume Yzerman is all of a sudden a great GM. He hasn’t accomplished anything as a GM yet.

Eaves is a far better player than Cleary at this point.

Yzerman has stacked his team.  He’s 3 yrs. into a complete rebuild.  Holland has done nothing but move sideways for yrs.  And he’s affraid to take a risk, make an impact/bold move.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/11/14 at 12:25 PM ET

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Yet, he waved and then traded Eaves.
Too much trading is not a good thing either. I don’t understand why people assume Yzerman is all of a sudden a great GM. He hasn’t accomplished anything as a GM yet.
Posted by George0211 on 07/11/14 at 12:21 PM ET

If by accomplish anything you mean win a Cup, then no he hasn’t. But don’t forget, it took Jimmy Devellano 14 years to turn around the entrenched culture of losing and bring a Cup to Detroit. The Lightning have made the playoffs in 7 of their 21 seasons. Before Yzerman took over the GM position, the Lightning had missed the playoffs three consecutive seasons. In four seasons, his teams have made the playoffs twice with a first round loss and a conference finals loss. Is Stevie pleased? I’m certain he is not. But I don’t think it’s fair to say he hasn’t accomplished anything.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from La La Land on 07/11/14 at 12:29 PM ET

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Yzerman has stacked his team.  He’s 3 yrs. into a complete rebuild.  Holland has done nothing but move sideways for yrs.  And he’s affraid to take a risk, make an impact/bold move.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/11/14 at 12:25 PM ET

Again, let’s reserve judgement until Yzerman accomplishes something as a GM in Tampa.

Posted by George0211 on 07/11/14 at 12:30 PM ET

alukacs's avatar

I’m glad some posters have perspective on this signing (HiHD, topshelf14).. But I also have to admin: I find it entertaining to read the rage comments, starting with George’s post and continuing for pages and pages…

Posted by alukacs on 07/11/14 at 01:12 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

It’s the fact that the team that squeaked into the playoffs the last two seasons has not improved appreciably in any way (forward or defense).

The team that squeaked into the playoffs the last two seasons did so with catastrophic injuries and got a big boost from inexperienced guys who are a year more experienced.  That team also had an uncharacteristic down year from it’s goalie (we hope it’s uncharacteristic).  This year the team will be better by virtue of not leading the NHL in man games lost due to injury (I don’t really consider Pittsburg having beaten the Wings; a huge chunk of those injuries were Vokoun’s and that was known well before the season began.  It would be like giving the Wings 70 man games lost if Cleary retires after the 12th game of the season with a wink-wink extra 2.5M in his pocket).

All of you who say Pavel Datsyuk deserves better?  He’s gotten to have his choice of linemates for much of the last two years and will again this year.  Henrik Zetterberg.

All of you who say Zetterberg deserves better?  He gets to play with Pavel freaking Datsyuk and, frequently, someone on the other side who can do the work that hurts his back (A guy like Abdelkader may not be super skilled but he sure takes the grunt work off Z’s shoulders). 

The Wings last year were expected to do very well in the Eastern Conference.  I expect them to do that this year instead.  Re-signing Cleary is a huge, huge drag but it isn’t the end of the world.  For the exact reasons reviled super villain HiHD pointed out.

Plain and simple, it would be a better forum if you were no longer a part of it. That’s my final word on the topic.]

I don’t understand this viewpoint.  HiHD often has some interesting things to say and his insight, since it comes from a completely different perspective, is often a decent counterbalance to the mobthink mentality that pervades this fanbase and community.  Obviously, it’d be better if HiHD could behave differently but the question I ask is, at this point, why would he?  You, who I rate as one of the very few “must read” commenters on here, have dedicated the better part of two posts here to attacking him.  And then there’s George’s classlessness, or at the very best interpretation his willful lack of courtesy, calling him out by name when he clearly goes by a different screen name for a reason?  I honestly don’t think “you’re a dope” is the worst offense in this escalating conflict of the idiotic in this thread.

Look, I get it.  He’s frustrating, pompous, arrogant and a jerk.  But there’s plenty of those here who don’t get this kind’ve reaction.  Why does HiHD?  Because he disagrees with you all.  That’s really it.  Is a habitual contrarian-for-the-sake-of-being-contrary worse than a lot of the other vitriol spewers, or is it just that their particular form of vitriol suits better?

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/11/14 at 01:50 PM ET

SnarkinLarkin's avatar

“(Dan) is very popular in our organization and with our on-ice leaders.” Uhh… so now it’s a popularity contest? Karen Newman is real popular in the organization, should we put her on a line?

Posted by SnarkinLarkin on 07/11/14 at 04:53 PM ET

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THIS LETTER.

Posted by brians neck on 07/11/14 at 09:12 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

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